PENN TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — The driver of an SUV was injured and a restaurant is now closed indefinitely after a vehicle slammed into the building this morning in Butler County.
Officials say the Dodge Durango sheared a utility pole and street sign, then crashed into a mailbox and garbage can before careening into the side of Reichhold’s Café on Route 8 in Penn Township.
Police say they believe the 19-year-old driver was heading northbound on Route 8 when he either fell asleep or blacked out. He suffered a head injury in the crash and was taken to the hospital. There is no word on his condition.
There were 50 customers inside the restaurant when the accident happened, officials said. They reported hearing a loud bang when the crash happened.
“All the customers, there was about 50 people in and they ran out, everybody jumped up and ran out,” said Paul Reichhold, the owner of the restaurant. “It scared everybody.”
No one inside was injured.
Penn Township firefighters used wooden poles to shore up the sinking floor. The crash left a gaping hole in the building, damaging the water pipes and the electrical system.
“It’s going to hurt for a while,” said Reichhold. “We have to have a commercial building inspector come for analysis, so we’re closed until that happens.”
The accident is under investigation.